I met Ely in late July. They were taking a workshop next door, in the Photography department. It was exciting to learn that they are also from Atlanta and also attended Georgia State University. After being in the west for nearly two months, and right around the time I was getting a little more homesick, it was a blessing to meet someone from home.
Eliza Aviña is an artist who contributes to Chicana / Latine representation through photography. For this photo session, Ely was interested in combatting the sultry, exotic, and hot-tempered stereotypical light that Latina women are often depicted in. Never having identified with that stereotype, I was thrilled when they asked me to be part of her photoshoot for their last assignment in Ryan Pfleuger’s workshop.
I was still in my work clothes, and since I don’t live at the ranch anymore she had to work with my natural state on a Thursday evening at 8pm, which meant no make up that day and no way for me to brush my hair. Ely brought out two matching shirts (except in color) for us to wear throughout the shoot. Ely took photographs of us together, running back and forth between the camera and the stool we were sharing, and directing the composition and line in the photograph while still allowing me room to by myself and comfortable in the shoot. I hadn't thought about the shirt assignment until I saw the photographs recently: the warmth from Ely's hair color traveling down the photograph through the shirt the had me wear, and the darkness of my hair and her shirt balance the color versions beautifully.
It was interesting and exciting to be involved in a shoot with a person I met a couple of days prior and leave feeling like good friends.
Below are some photographs from the shoot :